Gunnedah’s Emily Leys has been announced as one of four re-signings for the Sydney Sixers the upcoming Rebel Women’s Big Bash League season.
Part of the championship-winning Sixers side last season, Leys joins Sarah Aley, Ange Reakes and spinner Lauren Smith in the magenta for another season.
Aley had a stand out year last season as the leading wicket taker with 28 throughout the tournament, and taking home the Player of the Match in the Final. Her incredible season was rewarded with an Australian cap and a spot on the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 squad.
Reakes adds great depth in the bowling and batting stocks, but it’s in the field where she has had the most impact for the Sixers with safe hands and quick feet making her a huge asset.
Smith also featured in last season’s top ten wicket takers and brings energy to the field, as well as the occasional run out.
Leys has also provided a great option with both bat and ball when required and ensures the squad has depth to call on throughout the summer.
She said last year’s success was “pretty unbelievable” after falling one short the previous year.
“We were pretty gutted with that,” she said.
“That made it that bit sweeter.”
Mirroring the popularity of the men’s BBL, the women’s competition exposed the players to an atmosphere not many of them had experienced before.
“For me one of the big one’s was we had a double headed with the Thunder. There were 17,000 there and we ended up going to a super over,” Leys said.
“The atmosphere was amazing.”
Sixers head Coach Ben Sawyer said the four were great re-signings and helped keep the strong culture of the Club in place.
“Sarah is not only an inspiration to her team mates but to the coaching staff as well,” Sawyer said.
“The thorough way that she prepares herself for each and every WBBL match is something that everyone in our time can try to emulate, and it is no surprise to any of us that she was rewarded with an Australian cap at the end of WBBL 02.
“I am certain that Mitsy will once again have an outstanding tournament and continue to press for higher honours.
“Angela is a talented cricketer and we are extremely lucky that she has once again agreed to sign with our club.
“With the bat, ball and in the field, Angela is a high energy cricketer who gives maximum effort every time she represents our club, and that is something that every coach hopes for from their players.
“Lauren is a highly valued member of our squad, having an outstanding WBBL 02 season.
“On numerous occasions, Lauren was given the responsibility of closing out our bowling innings, over other bowlers who probably have a lot more experience. This shows the faith that our squad has in Lauren's ability with the ball, and it was no better highlighted than when Lauren was given the responsibility of bowling the last over in the WBBL Big Final.
“I am certain that Lauren will not only once again produce for us, but improve on last year’s efforts.
“Emily is a much-loved member of our squad and I am very glad that she has re-signed with our club.
“I know that Emily has worked hard with a number of coaches in preparation for WBBL 03 to give herself the best chance of success in this year’s tournament, and I look forward to seeing where her game can go in the coming season.”
The Sixers start their campaign on Saturday 9 December at North Sydney Oval against the Melbourne Stars before backing up on Sunday 10 December against the Sydney Thunder.
WBL|03 squad: Ellyse Perry ©, Sarah Aley, Erin Burns, Lauren Cheatle, Ash Gardner, Alyssa Healy, Jodie Hicks, Emily Leys, Ange Reakes and Lauren Smith.